March 25, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame softball team swept Wednesday's non-conference doubleheader against visiting Western Michigan at Melissa Cook Stadium. Game one went to the Irish, 6-1, as the nightcap was completed with an 8-1 count.
Next on the slate for Notre Dame is a Saturday (March 28) doubleheader at Georgetown followed by a Sunday (March 29) doubleheader at USF to continue BIG EAST Conference play.
Notre Dame scored in four different innings to take the first game. Extra-base hits from Beth Northway, Heather Johnson, Katie Fleury, Brianna Jorgensborg and Alexia Clay helped seal the deal for the Irish (14-11). In fact, Northway had a multi-hit effort along with Johnson and Clay. Clay and Jorgensborg each had two RBI.
Western Michigan (6-12) wasted little time going to work with two hits in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Mandi Sayres bounced an RBI-grounder to Fleury at shortstop to plate Lexi Jager.
Northway walked in the first and Johnson singled through the left side to push a hustling Northway all the way to third. Christine Lux came through with her first sacrifice fly of the season to bring Northway home and tie the game.
Three more runs in next inning gave the Irish a comfortable 4-1 cushion. Jorgensborg drew a one-out walk and scored on Clay's bomb to left field. Two batters later Fleury crushed a shot to right-center for the solo cameo around the bases.
The Irish managed one run on three hits in the third. Johnson doubled, Lux singled and Jorgensborg singled in the frame. It was Jorgensborg's single up the middle that scored Lux. Jorgensborg also scored in the sixth with a solo home run.
Jager led all players with three hits and Graci Barnstad added two more. The Broncos' Meredith Whitney (5-6) was the losing pitcher after giving up four earned runs after 2.0 innings. The Irish tagged her for three hits, and put three more in the books against reliever Kelli Zache.
Brittney Bargar (9-6) went the distance and fanned three Broncos while giving up one earned run on six hits.
Following walks drawn by Fleury, Johnson and Lux there were three ducks on the pond in the bottom of the first when Dani Miller swung her hot bat for Notre Dame's first grand slam of the season.
Northway started the third with a double off the top of the fence but was left stranded on third in the scoreless frame.
The Broncos scored their unearned run courtesy of an Irish fielding error in the top of the third.
The teams had a combined three hits through four complete innings when Jager doubled to the gap in right field. Sarah Thomas was on first at the time of the play and earned two bases before Alexa Maldonado fielded Jager's hit and rifled a shot to Fleury who shot home to catcher Kristina Wright for the out.
The sixth began with a Jorgensborg single, and the outfielder would later come around to score on Fleury's one-out single up the middle. With the scoreboard reading 5-1 in favor of the Irish, Notre Dame added three more runs to put the icing on the cake.
Kayla Houston (0-1) took the loss after giving up the grand slam in the first. She got only one out to her name before giving up the four earned runs. Meghan Thomas tossed the final 5.2 frames and gave up six hits in relief.
Jody Valdivia (5-5) was impressive with the complete-game one-hitter. She struck out eight batters over the course of the contest.
Fleury paved the way with a pair of hits as Dani Miller's grand slam was good for a game-high four RBI.